Is Google Funding Al Qaeda & Hezbollah Terrorist Groups

13 comments

Loren Baker reports from SES Chicago Google Funding Al Qaeda & Hezbollah Terrorist Groups?

At the Search Engine Strategies Conference in Chicago, Webmaster Radio’s Jim Hedger is currently holding a press conference which is making public the investigative report that Google is serving Adwords and Adsense advertisements on Google properties and the sites of Google AdSense members who are connected with Al Qaeda, Hezbollah and other terrorist groups which are benefitting from revenue which is originated by Google advertisers.

Comments

A Honey Pot?

Seems like a good way to track down terrorists. How do the terrorists collect the money? What banks accounts does it go through? What's their IP address? Shutting this down isn't necessarily the best way to handle it.

This is an industry wide project not to be taken lightly...

I want to be clear that WebmasterRadio.FM is not accusing anyone of anything. We were handed a lot of documentation as a 3rd party trusted resource to help figure this problem out with a few items:
1) Click Fraud
2) Improper Origin Country Traffic and its associated billing practices
3) Allowing Google Ads on Anti-American websites, Hezbollah, Russian Mafia and more...

WebmasterRadio.FM is in cooperation with Google and at this point we are waiting on comments from the FBI.

We will post the initial file shortly. Thanks for your patience.

Are they helping terrorists?

Look... the chances are that some of their 1.5 billion sites out there running adsense are doing things that they shouldn't be.. Kiddie Porn, selling drugs, and yea.. Terrorism.

The problem for Google (or anyone for that matter) is how do they exactly know where and what to shut down... and as jehochman pointed out.. it might be a better idea to keep them on the network and sending them checks to see exactly where they are cashed... you know.. maybe there 'might be a problem' with the check that would require a phone call (of course traced)..

The problem for Google (or

Quote:
The problem for Google (or anyone for that matter) is how do they exactly know where and what to shut down

How about starting with sites that send fraudulent clicks? It seems most of these operations work that way and perhaps that is a method of killing the snake off at the head. While Google shutting this down will just mean they move to some other underhanded method of making money, it still wouldn't hurt for them to actually care about click fraud for once.

While I don't think Google is at fault for funding terrorism, any story that points out how prevelant click fraud is is a good thing. It is awfully odd that some guys in a 3rd world country have no problem outsmarting the system put in place by Stanford PHDs.

Important point in the story

The story is really only tangentally about nefarious use of ad-sense or ysm dollars. The story is about advertiser alegations of massive click fraud. The part that got us going on the terrorism angle happened in our initial interview with source Clarence Briggs, CEO of AIT Corporation (extra-large hosting and web-services firm based in N.Carolina), he noted a USAToday article about terrorist organization Orkut sites, noting they often contained AdWords advertising. Clarence then asked the question, "Where does the money go?"

Good question eh?

We began a long investigation into AITs various claims, most of which were extremely strong suggestions Google was allowing and charging for way too many off-shore clicks when AIT had specifically requested a US and Canada only campaign. Along the way, we came across bot-nets. I think the story is found in bots, scraped and parked domains. Daron and I only said the word terrorist once in the press conference but with a word as politically and emotionally charged as that, once is enough.

"76 kabooms led the big parade..."
If it bleeds it leads. The sizzle is sexier than the meat. In the end, the consensus among the dozen or so SEM experts and journalists involved in developing the story says the terrorism angle is the sex that will sell the rest of the story. I am not so sure but I see their point. How many more click-fraud articles will it take to screw in a lightbulb?

Though the mainstream media and most of the tech media will jump all over the terrorism angle of the story, I think the real issue in this story is bot-nets and their effect on the stability of the PPC ad model. I hope the tech-community does not lose site of bot-nets in the hype surrounding the sum of our fears.

Criminal activity happens in all parts of the economy. It is no surprise it exists online. It is even less of a surprise that criminal organizations might have found a way to profit from the mass deployment of made-for-PPC pages such as scraped content sites and parked domains. With the organized assitance of a number of live-humans and/or or zomby-bot PCs, click fraud is a growth area in online criminality.

I would like to invite anyone interested in communicating about bot-nets to contact myself and, if extra ambitious, to contact Google and Yahoo.

ok. it is almost 4AM in Chicago and I think I am going to be woken soon by someone asking a lot of questions. Exactly who that someone might be is itself a question. I expect to have a lot of folks answering that question shortly thereafter. I still have to go look at the mess in the comment section at searchenginejournal.com.

we were working until 2ish this morning to get and prep the audio-files associated with the story and hope to have them up at WebmasterRadio.FM as soon as possible, hopefully this afternoon.

Awesome!

Way to misrepresent the information to get a great headline Loren.

Link Bait to the N'th Level

It's a great headline.. and I bet he got 1000 links for that one...

The problem is the chances are that there might be a few crap scum sites out there that are running adsense that are collecting revenue.... so factually he isn't wrong.. but it's blown outta proporation to an extreme level...

uhmmm

Might be a great headline but it's bullshit. I might as well be an O'Reilly fan if I am to accept the "ends justify the means" theory - that it's ok to distort the facts and drum shit up just to get attention for a (realistically) unrelated cause. The whole "terrorism" angle is misleading and kills your credibility.

The better headline would have been "Google encourages terrorist orphan adoption"

The First Story in this Industry Wide Intitiative....

Folks you can now hear the press conference and the first half of the interview with Clarence Briggs to discuss his particular story with us regarding his situation with Google and the Click Fraud case. Its an interesting listen.

You can find the story at: http://www.webmasterradio.fm/breakingstory.php

Pardon the link drop...but you'll find this an interesting listen.

I'm with him on the

I'm with him on the clickfraud part but he lost me at his concerns with domain parking.

How does the guy make the conclusion that parking domains is stealing ? Thats complete bullshit.

Brace for Defamation Suit

I hope people writing these headlines have lawyers on retainer.

It's one thing to question why Google would allow Al Qaeda & Hezbollah Terrorist Groups to join AdSense, but claiming they fund terrorist groups is a defamation suit just waiting to happen.

I might concur that a little background check would be appropriate before issuing an AdSense account, but I don't think they knowingly funded terrorists.

Funny twist on this

Awhile ago I wrote about a customer who threated to click on our PPC ads unless given a refund.
If terrorists wanted to create havoc they should develop more click fraud tools to undermine Google, Yahoo and MSN et al.

Comment Removed

comment removed GW

Please stop spamming the comments

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.